This paper aims at looking into social work practice in various groups. The social workers on a broad perspective are mainly focused on the provision of support and care services to the general public and more so the vulnerable lot such as children, the elderly, the addicted, the homeless, mentally ill among others It is therefore imperative that the social worker gets acquainted with the necessary skills and knowledge to enable him/her effectively meet the needs of these various groups. These needs vary from group to group considering that the problems vary from setting to setting.
In this respect, the field of child welfare has been undergoing a tremendous change for the past few years considering that children evaluation and management need to change from time to time. From the Current state of the economy to shifting policies and regulatory requirements to leadership changes, new practices have been emerging around the globe. The main concern around these new practices are not primarily centered around environmental changes, but there should be an increased emphasis on improved outcomes for children, youth, and families that may be or are being served in the child welfare system
Keywords: social workers, field of practice, children
Taking care of the young and the vulnerable in the society has always been a field of concern to many people. A social worker within the field of child welfare aims at providing care to the children are a holistic level on the physical, emotional or even environmental context. The social worker ensures that the child has enough support to enable him/her maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The social worker focuses on the child and may be mandated with the following responsibilities: Visiting the children at home for evaluation purposes, evaluation of the environment the child is in, ensuring the child is with the right company either on foster home, adoptive family etc., evaluation and assessment of the caregivers etc. On the other hand, agencies are developing strategies towards improving the results. This may be in the workforce, community, environment, trust between the customers and the various shareholders, improving the capacity of the programs and the workforce That stated, the aim of this essay is to try to look into the world of a child welfare social worker
Field of Practice
This refers to the branches of social work. They are the subunits that a social worker can be designated to. In this respect, a social worker decides on the field that he/she will major on so as to understand the population and the needs that might come to play. Furthermore is the agency requirement for placement. These various fields of practice re-described below.
This is a branch of social welfare that is primarily concerned with children and their surroundings. The child welfare has been primarily concerned with children and their families especially when parental functioning is impaired because the child’s developmental, behavioral and emotional problems limit the ability to live within the family setting. One remarkable development is the focus of the children to live within the family setting contrary to the opinion of living within an adopted family. In respect to child welfare, the typical settings may include service delivery for children in their own home, adoption, group home care, foster ‘residential care, day care among others. The clients that are to be catered for include the children and the youth and the parents and guardians.
This is a field of social welfare that is primarily meant to enable social workers to articulate within the environment of older or very old people and those mandated with taking care of them. One major function is to link the individuals, the group or the family, the community with the necessary resources. In ensuring proper understanding of elderly people, students are required to gain the knowledge on physical and psychological aspects of the aging process. Furthermore, knowledge is required on the needs and the conditions of the elderly and the more than complex processes of legislation and programs that serve this population.
The typical setting for the elderly includes hospitals, hospice, senior centers, case management within local departments of social services, nursing homes among others. In this respect, this social worker mainly focuses on the elderly people of over 60 years of age and helping people in the caretaking role of the aging relatives. It is thus very important for any person willing to venture in this branch of social service to get proper knowledge of the following intervention/modalities: Assessment, discharge, planning, crisis intervention, brokering, family and group counseling, planning, administration, home visiting etc.
Drug and alcohol and other addictive behaviors
This mainly deals with people and families who may regard as addicted to one or more substances e.g. alcohol, cigarettes. A social worker in this field mainly focuses on the pattern of addiction and the necessary interventions that can be used to break the cycle of addiction. The primary method that can be used to educate people and the society on how to prevent addiction are mainly in educational programs and community outreach.
Basically, the setting for these programs is mainly inpatient and outpatient drugs and treatment of alcohol treatment centers and programs, eating disorder units, methadone maintenance programs etc. Considering this is the treatment of addiction, the intervention measure that social workers in this field are to gain a proper hand in include: assessment, treatment, planning, individual, family and group work, use of confrontation techniques among others
Educational and school social work
It is mainly done in collaboration with schools and was introduced due to the fact that emotional factors can prevent learning. The focus centers mainly revolve around compulsory school attendance, classroom adjustment and on a broader front, preventive interventions that regard development tasks and adjustments.
Concerning the settings of this class of social work, there are the school districts, alternative high schools, BOCES learning centers and preschool settings. More to this are the intervention measures that can be employed and include: assessment, crisis management and intervention, group and individual work, training on preventive measures, grant training and program evaluation and this may involve family training which may vary from one setting to the next.
This is mainly concerned with the welfare that revolves around the family with the main aim to ensure a cohesive family pattern. It may include services directly addressed to families and children and may take various forms such as counseling and educational training issues mainly aimed at ensuring family growth and development. In this response, a social worker may be equipped with knowledge and skills that are meant to help him/her to effectively function within settings that include: family services agencies and neighborhood or family and community services. The range of clients in this social work mainly includes family members such as children and parents and mainly deals with parties that are in need of family support issue and services. The agencies are mainly called to action to serve the clients on protective services and mandated counseling.
The intervention measures that may be utilized include crisis theory and management, long and short-term counseling, assessment, networking, individual and group counseling, community organization among others
This refers to issues that are generally regarded as being undesirable to the society. In this regard, a social problem is an issue that has a profound effect on a large number of individuals and more to this requires to be addressed. The name social problem is stated to have an objective and subjective component in the sense that although there are many problems facing a large number of individuals in the society, only those that have the two-component can be regarded as social problems. So what are the components?
The objective component that makes any problem to become social is its effect on a large number of people, particularly on a negative view. This is indicated by a collection of data particularly from government and non-government agencies, researchers among various bodies that point in the negative direction. Considering something like climate change may be disputed by various agencies and bodies but its profound effect on the globe cannot be disputed. Various bodies indicate that climate change is real and has effects on the global atmosphere but still many people do not agree to this. About 64% of Americans do not believe the threat that climate change brings (Meyerowitz, Maibach, Roser-Renouf, & Smith, 2011). It is in this regard that the problem points to the subjective component of the definition of social problems
The subjective component of any social problem simply refers to the perception that the community or individuals have towards any problem. Many people may view the problem as something that needs to be addressed while others may view the problem as something that does not require any sort of address whatsoever (APHSA, 2012). Many conditions and behaviors may be considered negative and this would require the address of various personalities and hence the definition of a social problem. Others may be considered negative but do not obtain the status of becoming a social problem.
Considering the perception the community has towards any problem as social, a good instance is a rape and sexual assault. Prior to the movement by women groups in the 1970s, rape was just considered a form of assault and was not considered a social problem. Generally, policy makers and various groups did not take this into consideration and even the society viewed it as a form of crime.After the movement by women groups requiring this problem, the perception of the society generally changed and it became a social problem.
As such various groups and organizations have differed regarding what makes an ill to the society as a social problem. Some groups have indicated that social problems generally require the attention of various groups and personalities while others have indicated that any sort of ill should be regarded as a social problem inconsiderate of the views (Spector & Kitsuse, 2001).
Social work roles
The social worker is mandated with taking care of the young and vulnerable. In this regard, most people may not know the roles that the social workers are clearly designated to do. There is a lot of the social work roles that it may be a stimulus for creativity within the job.
This is mainly concerned with the rights that the young and vulnerable with the main concern the inability of this group to fight for what may be deemed necessary to them. It is, therefore, the role of the social worker to obtain the necessities by convincing the majority about the legitimate rights and necessities of the various groups.
Considering that various groups need proper education to cope with social, environmental and emotional challenges, the social workers act as educators teaching people on the ability to develop skills in various fields such as children management, budgetary skills, communication, and diagnostics among others
Social workers are involved in the organization of various community resources such as policy structures, research etc.
Social workers are equipped with vast knowledge mainly pertaining management and organization and hence are in a better position to influence policy management and structures primarily concerned with the community. They are therefore able to champion for the rights of the vulnerable and the underprivileged in the society.
Social workers can act as a broker in the sense that he may make referrals pertaining various issues that may affect individuals or the society at large. This may involve linking family members to any people of help or to the various resources that they may require.
Important t trends
Considering that social work is mainly concerned with the welfare of the society, there are various trends that are meant to ensure the smoothness of the processes and activities.The underlying factor in social work today is mainly the social concern and scientific principles.
Working in Schools
Considering that school going children are mainly subject to violence and other social issues, various reforms have ensured that there is access to nationally recognized social problems regardless of the location.
Veterans are mainly affected by post-traumatic stress disorder that many end up into alcoholism and drug abuse and even to some extent violence. In this regard, medication and therapy has become a major stepping stone to the reduction of this problem
Various organizations have come to the forefront to fight for the welfare of the weak and vulnerable. Some of these groups include:
Foster care Redesign Family support services of North Florida
This group came up with a redesign process to ensure that there is a lesser number of children going into the foster care system. The organization offers programs that are meant to empower the children such as: strengthening Ties and Empowering Parents, Family Assessment Support Team, Integrated Practice Team (APHSA, 2012).
Child Welfare Military Project El Paso County, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado
It is expected that by the year 2013, El Paso County will have over 26,000 military members and between 30,000‐35,000 spouses and children related to those officers (APHSA, 2012). The organization is meant to cater for the increasing number of children referrals mainly involving military families around the region.
It is imperative that the welfare of the society be taken to a relatively higher level. The community has various programs and policies that are implemented with the main focus the vulnerable groups such as the mentally ill, the old and the mentally ill among others. This ensures that the social problems that tend to bring negativity among individuals are relatively fewer.
APHSA. (2012). Practice innovations in child welfare.
Meyerowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., & Smith, N. (2011). Climate change in the American mind: Americans global warming belief. New Haven.
Spector, M., & Kitsuse, J. I. (2001). Constructing social problems. New Brunswick.